NSW Audit Office - Financial Reports – 2007 - Volume 4 - Sydney Water  Corporation

NSW Audit Office - Financial Reports – 2007 - Volume 4 - Sydney Water Corporation


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Sydney Water Corporation AUDIT OPINION The audit of Sydney Water Corporation’s financial report for the year ended 30 June 2007 resulted in a qualified Independent Auditor’s Report. The qualification related to assets and liabilities of the Build-Own-Operate (BOO) schemes not being recognised in Sydney Water's balance sheet. The audit report for 2005-06 was similarly qualified. The audits of the financial reports of Australian Water Technologies Pty Ltd and its controlled entity for the year ended 30 June 2007 resulted in unqualified Independent Auditor’s Reports. Unless otherwise stated, the following commentary relates to the consolidated entity. KEY ISSUES Desalination Plant and the Price of Water Sydney Water will need to achieve price increases to fund its future cost of debt. The future cost of debt wil increase as the desalination plant, with an approved cost of $1.8 billion, will be fully debt funded. The debt will alter Sydney Water’s debt profile significantly over the next few years. Refer also to our comment below on Sydney Water’s ability to fund the replacement of its existing system assets given the age and condition of the system and relevant regulatory pricing structures. The desalination plant’s approved budget includes contingencies of $128 million (about 12 per cent of the total project cost) and provision of $64.0 million to cover expenses such as the acquisition of easements, settlement of land ...



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Sydney Water Corporation
  AUDIT OPINION  The audit of Sydney Water Corporations financial report for the year ended 30 June 2007 resulted in a qualified Independent Auditors Report. The qualification related to assets and liabilities of the Build-Own-Operate (BOO) schemes not being recognised in Sydney Water's balance sheet. The audit report for 2005-06 was similarly qualified.  The audits of the financial reports of Australian Water Technologies Pty Ltd and its controlled entity for the year ended 30 June 2007 resulted in unqualified Independent Auditors Reports.  Unless otherwise stated, the following commentary relates to the consolidated entity.   KEY ISSUES  Desalination Plant and the Price of Water   Sydney Water will need to achieve price increases to fund its future cost of debt.   The future cost of debt will increase as the desalination plant, with an approved cost of $1.8 billion, will be fully debt funded. The debt will alter Sydney Waters debt profile significantly over the next few years.  Refer also to our comment below on Sydney Waters ability to fund the replacement of its existing system assets given the age and condition of the system and relevant regulatory pricing structures.  The desalination plants approved budget includes contingencies of $128 million (about 12 per cent of the total project cost) and provision of $64.0 million to cover expenses such as the acquisition of easements, settlement of land valuation dispute and compensation for disruption and damages to businesses and residences. The provision also covers time and safety incentives. The contractors can earn up to $20.0 million if they achieve Sydney Waters safety targets and complete the work three months ahead of the scheduled completion dates.  Contracts were signed in June and July 2007 to construct the water delivery infrastructure and desalination plant respectively. The contracts commit the parties to delivering the infrastructure within 26 months of the contract date. The party responsible for constructing the plant will also operate it for a 20 year period.  The deliverables of this project are outlined in the table below.  Deliverable Original Approved (November 2005)* (July 2007)#    Desalination plant cost ($b) Not available 1.0 Water delivery infrastructure cost ($b) Not available 0.6 Total project cost ($b) 1.3 1.8 Completion date na December 2009     Source: Sydney Water. * Based on a 125 megalitre per day desalination plant. # Based on a 250 megalitre per day desalination plant. na not applicable.  
 __________________________________________ s Report to Parliament 2007 Volume Four  156 Auditor-General
_________________________________________________________________________ Sydney orporation Water C
The latest internal status report prepared by Sydney Water suggests there are no significant environmental, technical or time issues related to the plant and its contracted cost of $1.0 billion. This estimated cost of the water delivery pipeline outlined in the table above was $570 million in July 2007. Sydney Water is still working through the agreed final cost for this part of the project with its alliance partners. Geotechnical investigations are continuing and the final cost estimate for the pipeline works is expected to be available in November 2007.  Work has commenced on constructing the desalination plant. It will be capable of producing 250 megalitres of water per day. Once operational, it will have the capacity to provide over 15 per cent of Sydneys current water consumption. At 30 June 2007, Sydney Water had spent $109 million on the project ($70.7 million at 30 June 2006).  When operational, Sydney Water estimates it will cost between $9.0 million and $55.0 million per annum to operate the plant depending on the volume of water produced. At full capacity the cost is $55.0 million per annum while it will cost an estimated $9.0 million per annum to have the plant on minimal utilisation.  Sydney Water estimates it will need 400,000 megawatt hours of electricity per year to operate the desalination plant at full capacity. Sydney Water has recently sought Request for Proposals from the market place to supply 100 per cent renewable energy. Electricity will be the largest component of the operating cost. Based on $76.00 per megawatt hour, Sydney Water estimates electricity will be 35 to 46 per cent of the total operating costs.  Sydney Water advises the NSW Government has not decided on the operating rules for the plant, other than it will operate at full capacity for the first two years. Until the operating rules are determined, the impact this will have on Sydney Waters existing arrangements with the operators of the four largest water filtration plants is unknown. Currently, most of Sydneys drinking water is processed by the Prospect water filtration treatment plant. The arrangement with this operator does not expire until 2022.  The supply of water from the desalination plant is unlikely to have a financial impact on the Sydney Catchment Authority (SCA). Sydney Water currently sources all of its water from SCA. Sydney Water advises that it expects to favour SCA bulk water over desalinated water when the SCA supply is adequate.  In June 2007, a wholly controlled entity, Sydney Desalination Plant Pty Ltd, was created. This entity will own the desalination plant, the intake and outlet pipes. The water pipeline delivery infrastructure will be owned directly by Sydney Water.  Ability to Replace System Assets in the Future  Repeat Issue  The gap between Sydney Waters replacement asset values and their value based on cash generating capability is significant.  At 30 June 2007, Sydney Water estimates it would cost $22.3 billion ($21.7 billion) to replace its assets as they currently exist at todays prices. In comparison, the recoverable amount of the assets at 30 June 2007, being the estimate of the discounted future net cash inflows the assets are expected to generate over their remaining life, was $11.2 billion ($10.0 billion).  Sydney Water uses its weighted average cost of capital to discount the cash inflows generated by the assets. However, this is significantly higher than the actual return Sydney Water has made on its assets. This highlights that the current regulatory framework, amongst other factors, presents a problem for Sydney Water in being able to achieve a commercial rate of return on the replacement value on its water and wastewater services as they currently exist.  
 Auditor-Generals Report to Parliament 2007 Volume Four _________________________________________ 157  
Sydney Water Corporation_________________________________________________________________________
In its recent submission to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART), Sydney Water has sought increased water prices to improve its financial viability and to bridge the gap between the replacement cost of its existing infrastructure assets and their recoverable amount. Sydney Water has requested IPART grant it a seven per cent real rate of return on its regulated asset base, and that it reconsider the assumption all new assets have a 100 year life. Sydney Water believes its assets have a significantly lower actual life. Sydney Water estimates the weighted average life of water and wastewater assets will be 83 and 75 years respectively from 30 June 2008.  IPART considers the prices it determines provide for a rate of return equivalent to Sydney Waters weighted average cost of capital on the regulatory asset base, as calculated by IPART.  IPART points out Sydney Waters replacement cost asset valuation of $22.3 billion includes assets paid for and supplied free of charge by developers, as well as those funded by government grants. IPART makes no provision for the replacement of such assets in determining Sydney Waters water and sewerage service charges until they are due to be replaced at Sydney Waters cost. IPART believes to do otherwise would effectively mean Sydney Water is being funded twice for the same assets. There are discrete developer charges determined separately by Sydney Water in accordance with a methodology determined by IPART.  IPART will consider Sydney Waters arguments, including those relating to its weighted average cost of capital and average asset lives as part of its assessment of Sydney Waters pricing proposals. IPART is expected to release its report and determination of future water, sewerage and stormwater prices for Sydney Water in June 2008.  IPART has also indicated that it undertakes an annual audit of Sydney Waters compliance with the system performance standards and asset management provisions contained in Sydney Waters operating licence. The outcomes of this audit are tabled in Parliament and are considered by IPART in determining Sydney Waters prices. The results of the operating licence are summarised below under the heading IPART Operational Audit.  Dividends  Sydney Waters ability to pay future dividends is dependent on profits being available for distribution and access to loan funds.  Sydney Water provided $140 million ($193 million) for dividends in 2006-07. Dividend targets have been established for the next five years.  Field Resources Management (FRM) Project  In Volume Four of the 2006 Auditor-Generals Report to Parliament we reported that Sydney Water encountered problems with its FRM project. The FRM project will replace the paper based system and ageing mobile radio dispatch system used in scheduling and reporting maintenance works. The problems included complexities with the project scope, security, testing and integration. The deliverables of this project are outlined in the table below.  Deliverable  Project cost ($m) Completion date  Source: Sydney Water.   While the completion date has been delayed, the forecast project cost is almost nine per cent lower than the revised cost approved by the Sydney Water Board in September 2006. The project cost and completion date only relate to stage one of the project. Sydney Water is preparing a business case for of the next stage project. The original budget for stage two was $2.3 million.  
Original Revised Forecast (November 2004) (September 2006) (September 2007)    9.3 20.5 18.8 March 2007 March 2008 May 2008     
  158 __________________________________________Auditor-Generals Report to Parliament 2007 Volume Four
__________ Sydney Water Corporation _______________________________________________________________
Internal reporting to the Sydney Water Board and an independent health check conducted in June 2007 suggests the project is proceeding in line with the current project plan. None of the concerns raised in the July 2006 health check, such as improving management processes and capability and expertise, were evident in the recent heath check.  In September 2006, Sydney Water reassessed the business case supporting the project and concluded that continuing with the project was the best outcome for the organisation. Amongst other benefits, the new system is expected to deliver business efficiencies and improve Sydney Waters response times to breaks and leaks in the water network. Once implemented, Sydney Water believes the new system will reduce its operating expenditure by $4.4 million per annum. At 30 June 2007, Sydney Water had spent $9.9 million on the project.  Customer Information Billing System (CIBS)   Sydney Water commenced litigation in the Supreme Court against PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in 2003. Sydney Water is seeking damages against PwC for the failed CIBS project. Sydney Water has incurred significant legal and related costs associated with this litigation. The matter has now been set for hearing in May 2008.  We reported our key findings and recommendations following the termination of the CIBS project in Volume One of the 2003 Auditor-Generals Report to Parliament.   PERFORMANCE INFORMATION  IPART Operational Audit  IPART reported the results of its 2005-06 operational audit of Sydney Water in May 2007. The audit assessed Sydney Waters performance against the standards in its operating licence.  The audit found Sydney Water managed its resources to achieve predominantly high to full compliance with its operating licence requirements. The results of the audit are summarised in the table below.  Year ended 30 June  2002 2003 2004 2005 2006  % % % % %       Full compliance 69 67 65 71 86 High compliance 14 22 21 19 12 Partial compliance  11 5 7 6 2 Low compliance  3 -- 1 1 --Noncompliance  1 -- -- ----Insufficient information 2 7 5 3 --      Source: Sydney Water .  Sydney Waters performance in 2006 was better than in previous years. In particular, Sydney Water achieved full compliance in water conservation and demand management, which was a significant improvement. IPART believes Sydney Water is on target to reduce water consumption to 329 litres per capita per day by 2011. Part of the reason for achieving full compliance in water conservation and demand management was IPARTs decision to include savings attributable from water restrictions.   
 o to Parliament 2007 Volume Four 159  Auditor-Generals Rep rt _________________________________________
Sydney Water Corporation _________________________________________________________________________
The audit concluded Sydney Water achieved partial compliance in responding to water main breaks and installing flow meters in the water supply system. Further information on response times can be found below under the heading Response Times .  Full compliance means Sydney Water met all the requirements of a particular standard, whilst high compliance means most requirements were met with some minor technical failures or breaches.  Water Conservation  As mentioned above, Sydney Water must meet the water conservation target of 329 litres per capita per day by 30 June 2011. Water consumption for 2006-07 and 2005-06 are detailed in the table below.  Year ended 30 June Actual Target  2006 2007 2011     Target water consumption per capita per day (litres)  na na 329 Actual water consumption per capita per day (litres)  341 328 na     Source: Sydney Water. na: not applicable.   The reduced actual water consumption in 2006-07 is just below the 30 June 2011 target as result of a number of initiatives including reducing leaks, recycling and demand management programs.  The IPART operational audit concluded Sydney Waters demand management strategy is in line with worlds best practice. Most of Sydney Waters demand management programs are achieving or exceeding planned water savings. However, actual savings from tiered pricing and the Building Sustainability Index (BASIX)  were less than expected.  Response Times  The table below shows the percentage of calls to Sydney Water relating to water main breaks and leaks responded to within the target time. The response times and targets form part of Sydney Waters operating license.  Year ended 30 June    Priority 6 (stop water loss within 2 hours) Priority 6 (stop water loss within 3 hours) Priority 5 (stop water loss within 3 hours)  Priority 5 (stop water loss within 6 hours)  Priority 4 (stop water loss by the end of next working day)  Priority 4 (stop water loss within 5 days)  Source: Sydney Water.  The table shows that Sydney Water has improved its response time in 2006-07, meeting all the targets except for one. Reasons for the improvements include: improved resource management during periods of high workloads; delaying non essential planned works; increased overtime; and re-starting the clock when the priority assigned to a break or leak is upgraded.
Actual Target 2006 2007 2007  % % %    72.3 86.9 70 84.4 94.2 90 57.8 71.0 65 80.1 92.6 85 67.3 79.6 50 90.9 96.0 100    
  160 __________________________________________Auditor-Generals Report to Parliament 2007 Volume Four
_________________________________________________________ Sydney Water Corporation ________________
A priority 6 is defined as a high flow of water causing an immediate danger to people, property or the environment. Typically this involves water gushing or spurting from the ground and results in a major water loss. A leak is classified as priority 5 when it is running at a rate greater than the full flow of a garden tap, while a priority 4 leak exists when the water loss is less than the full flow of a garden tap.  For 2006-07, if the break or leak was re-prioritised, the clock was reset. The 2005-06 results were not updated to reflect this new approach.  National Performance Report  The table below shows Sydney Waters performance over the past four years on some of the key indicators.  Year ended 30 June 2004 2005 2006 2007      Volume of water consumed (kilolitres) per residential property 224.0 211.0 205.0 199.0 Water quality complaints per 1,000 properties 1.4* 1.1* 0.8 0.8 Water interruption frequency per 1,000 properties  Unplanned 260.4* 233.8* 196.4 183.8 Water main breaks and leaks per 100 km 37.5 37.3 41.9 34.5 Sewer main breaks and chokes per 100 km 81.5 92.3 87.1 90.1 Water recycled (%) 3.2 2.8 3.5 4.3 Water leakage (Infrastructure Leakage Index) (%) 2.1 1.8 1.5 1.5      Source: Figures for 2004 to 2006 from National Performance Report 2005-06. The 2006-07 figures provided by Sydney Water.  These numbers are not directly comparable because of a change in definition. Provided for information only.  *  The volume of water consumed continues to decrease as a result of water restrictions and Sydney Waters demand management strategies. The increase in sewer main breaks and chokes is a result of the dry weather during the year.  Sydney Waters water leakage has remained constant at 1.5 in 2006 and 2007. Further information on this is provided under the heading Water Loss below. The International Water Association believes an infrastructure leakage index between 1.0 and 2.9 indicates that an entity is making a substantial effort to manage and maintain its infrastructure, and to ensure all detected leaks and bursts are promptly repaired.  
 Auditor-Generals e ort to P olume Four 161  R p arliament 2007 V _________________________________________
y ney Water Corporation_________________________________________________________________________ S d
2006 2007   42,602 44,261 8.5 8.5 68.9 91.6    
Water Loss  The table below summarises water loss within the water distribution system. Water is lost because of leaks in water mains.  Year ended 30 June  Volume of water loss (megalitres) Water loss compared to water supplied (%) Costs incurred to reduce water loss ($m)  Source: Sydney Water.  Sydney Water must reduce water loss to no more than 38,325 megalitres per year by 30 June 2009 .  It is currently reviewing its leakage program and has identified new initiatives that increase the likelihood of achieving the operating licence requirement.  In 2006-07, Sydney Water inspected 18,080 kilometres of pipeline (18,011 kilometres) and believes this annual inspection program is the main reason for the significant decrease in water loss since 2002-03. However, it also believes the full benefits of this program have been realised and the annual inspection of pipelines will only maintain or slightly reduce current water losses.  Sydney Water plans to spend a further $205 million on leak reduction activities over the next two years. Leak reduction activities include the annual inspection program, renewal of water mains and improving pressure management.  The target of 38,325 megalitres was assessed by IPART as being the economic level of leakage, which is the point at which costs associated with leakage reduction equal the benefits derived from water savings. Reducing water loss beyond this point would cost more than producing the lost water from another source.  Recycling  The table below shows the volume of water recycled by Sydney Water over the last three years.  Year ended 30 June 2005 2006 2007     Volume of recycled water (billion litres) 13.0 15.0 22.0 Recycled water as a percentage of total effluent discharged (%) 2.8 3.5 4.3     Source: Sydney Water .   While Sydney Water increases the level of recycled water, it ranks amongst the lowest recyclers on a percentage basis when compared to other water retailers in Australia.  According to Sydney Water a direct comparison between water retailers is problematic. The overwhelming majority of water recycling projects in Sydney have been implemented to save drinking water in the dams. Other States have achieved higher volumes of recycling where there are opportunities to recycle for agricultural and irrigation purposes. While these are important uses of recycled water, they do not, in the majority of cases, save on the draw of the stored drinking water supply.
 162 Auditor-Generals R liament 2007 Volume Four  __________________________________________ eport to Par
____________________________________ Sydney Water Corporation _____________________________________
However, the NSW Government plans to increase the volume of recycling to 70 billion litres a year in 2015 and to 100 billion litres by 2032. Sydney Water believes water recycling in Sydney will exceed the 70 billion litre target by 2015.  Sydney Water is committed to several projects to meet the 2015 target, including the Western Sydney Recycled Water project, which it estimates will result in the recycling of up to 27.0 billion litres of water by 2015. A contract for the first stage of this project was recently awarded  and involves replacing water releases from Warragamba Dam into the Hawkesbury-Nepean River with treated effluent from Sydney Waters sewerage system. Sydney Water believes this will save up to 18 billion litres of water, and will be commissioned by mid 2009.  Sydney Water believes creating a recycled water grid which will service existing urban and growth areas will help achieve the 100 billion litre target. The Liverpool to Ashfield pipeline will be a key component of the recycled water grid and will have the capacity to transport 47 billion litres of treated effluent per year. Sydney Water estimates demand would exist for 29 billion litres per year.  Sydney Water plans to invest more than $650 million on recycling projects over the next five years.  Wastewater Services  Sydney Water operates its 30 sewerage treatment plants (STPs) and 659 sewer pumping stations in accordance with strict licence conditions set by the Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC). The table below highlights Sydney Waters compliance with those licence conditions.  Year ended 30 June 2005 2006 2007     Total number of Penalty Infringement Notices issued by DECC (usually relating to prior year Noncompliances) 2 3 2 Total number of licence Noncompliances 380 408 243     Source: Sydney Water.   Of the 243 licence Noncompliances in 2006-07, 48 per cent (59 per cent) relate to uncontrolled dry weather overflows, which are usually caused by tree root chokes, mechanical and electrical failures and power outages at pumping stations. Sydney Water advises the reduction in overflows is mainly a result of improved response times to incidents and a program of inspecting and rehabilitating key assets susceptible to overflow.  Sydney Water has reported its 2006-07 Noncompliances to DECC. DECC has yet to review all Noncompliances to determine if any result in a licence breach. Of the 408 Noncompliances reported in 2005-06, DECC determined that only one breached the licence conditions, resulting in a penalty infringement notice. The other penalty infringement notice reported in the table above relates to an incident that occurred in September 2006. Sydney Water was fined $1,500 for each breach.  Under its operating licence, Sydney Water must ensure no more than 25,000 properties are affected by an uncontrolled dry weather overflow each year. Sydney Water advises it met this target in 2006-07, with 24,924 properties affected (22,572) and attributes the increase to extended dry weather conditions.  
 Auditor-Generals Report to Parliament 2007 Volume Four _________________________________________ 163  
Sydney Water Corpor _________________________________________________________________________ ation Maintenance Activities   The table below shows Sydney Water completed all its planned maintenance for 2006-07. The results are consistent with the previous year.  Year ended 30 June 2006 2007    Total planned maintenance completed for network and 97.0 95.0 treatment assets (%) Total planned maintenance completed for critical assets (%) 99.5 100.0 Budgeted maintenance expenditure ($m) 157.0 178.3 Actual maintenance expenditure ($m) 153.0 175.4 Backlog maintenance (number of jobs) 6,963 6,347 Backlog maintenance ($m) 9.0 9.5    Source: Sydney Water.  During 2005-06, Sydney Water completed 210,188 maintenance jobs (212,529). Backlog maintenance has gradually decreased over the last two years. Sydney Water believes this is an acceptable amount of backlog insofar as it allows efficient scheduling and continuation of workflow. Backlog maintenance is lower priority maintenance work Sydney Water had planned to address by a certain date, but did not achieved. While no formal plan is in place to reduce backlog maintenance by a certain date and/or by a certain percentage, Sydney Water does monitor backlog maintenance each month to ensure critical work is not delayed.  At present, most of Sydney Waters planned maintenance activities are time based. Sydney Water is gradually moving to condition based and run to fail maintenance programs for some less critical assets because these methods are more cost efficient. Under the run to fail maintenance program, Sydney Water waits until its assets break down before carrying out maintenance.  Financial Performance Information  Sydney Waters current ratio (a measure of its financial liquidity) is relatively steady at 0.36 (0.33). A current ratio of one is, in most instances, considered appropriate. However, Sydney Water can manage its cash flows with a lower liquidity ratio because its revenues and expenditures are highly predictable, and because it can quickly source funds from a facility with NSW Treasury Corporation, as well as approved borrowing facilities and a bank overdraft.  Year ended 30 June 2006 2007   $m $m     Profit before tax before superannuation actuarial gains 256.6 359.9 Dividend payable 193.0 140.0 Income tax payable 54.8  89.7 Total government contributions 247.8 229.7    Dividend + tax/profit before tax and superannuation actuarial gains (%) 96.6 63.8    Net profit margin before superannuation actuarial gains (%)   16.7 21.4    Current ratio   0.33 0.36    Source: Sydney Water.   __________________________________________Auditor s Rep 2007 Volume Four  164 -General ort to Parliament
_________________________________________________________________________ Sydney Water Corporation
Price increases, as determined by IPART, and an increase in developer contributions were the main reasons for a favourable improvement in the net profit margin before superannuation actuarial gains.  The following table compares Sydney Water to the Australian water industry and other Government Trading Enterprises (GTEs).  Year ended 30 June Sydney Water All States  Water All GTEs 2005 2006 2006  2006      Return on assets (%) 2.7 5.7 5.5 4.9 Return on equity (%) 1.5 3.9 4.2 4.6 Debt to equity (%) 36.5 44.3 28.6 48.5 Cost recovery (%) 128.0 167.7 163.5 120.8      Source: The Productivity Commissions Financial Performance of Government Trading Enterprises 2004-05 to 2006-07.   Sydney Waters return on assets and equity, and cost recovery, improved considerably in 2005-06 and were generally consistent with the averages for the water industry across Australia. The increases were largely due to a favourable movement in defined benefit superannuation liabilities. The reduction in superannuation liabilities resulted in non cash revenue of $112 million ($205 million) being recognised in the income statement.  Because of differences in the market environment and the valuation of assets, it is difficult to make a direct comparison between Sydney Water and the water industry and all GTEs. For example, the water entities that value infrastructure assets at historic cost may report a higher rate of return on assets than those applying fair value, such as Sydney Water.   OTHER INFORMATION  We identified some opportunities for improvement in internal controls and procedures. These were minor, and we reported them to management.  Review of Major Capital Projects  Sydney Waters capital expenditure in 2006-07 was $648 million ($520 million). This was five per cent above the Statement of Corporate Intent target of $609 million. Sydney Water advised that this was mainly due to some projects running ahead of schedule, such as the South Western Sydney Sewerage Scheme project.  In its 2005 price determination, IPART suggested Sydney Water should achieve efficiency savings of six per cent in delivering its capital works program in 2006-07 (3.5 per cent). Sydney Water advised that it achieved capital efficiencies of two per cent (3.1 per cent).  The original and current cost estimates and service delivery dates for all capital projects with an original cost above $50.0 million are listed in the table below. Most projects are consistent with the original cost estimate. The delays in service delivery are mainly due to scope changes and delays in obtaining regulatory approvals.  
  Auditor-Generals R port to Volume Four _________________________________________ e Parliament 2007 165
Sydney Water Corporation_________________________________________________________________________ Project Original Cost Current Cost Original Service Current Service Estimate Estimate Delivery Date Delivery Date (and year) $m $m      Completed during 2006-07: Illawarra Waste Water Strategy 104 (1997) 212 Mid 2005 --Malabar System Risk Reduction  Stages 1-3 53 (1998) 129 Mid 2007 --      In progress at 30 June 2007: Desalination Project 1,950 (2007) 1,833 Late 2009 Early 2010 Replacement Flows 265 (2006) 230 Late 2009 Early 2010 South Western Sydney Sewerage Scheme 201 (2001) 181 Late 2007 Mid 2008 North Head Sewerage Treatment Plant 106 (2003) 152 Mid 2009 Late 2009 Rouse Hill Sewage Treatment Plant and Recycled Water Plant 78 (2006) 78 Late 2008 Early 2009 Hoxton Park Recycled Water 65 (2006) 65 Mid 2009 Late 2009 Brooklyn and Dangar Island Sewerage Scheme 56 (2006) 56 Mid 2008 Mid 2008 Blue Mountains Sewerage Scheme Stage Two 51 (1998) 156 Late 2006 Early 2009       The significant increase in cost of the North Head Sewerage Treatment Plant project is due to a re-evaluation of the design development, cost escalation and tender prices. The significant increase in the cost of the Blue Mountains Sewerage Scheme Stage Two was caused by a change in how sewage discharge should be treated.  Sydney Water considers the overall risk profile of its capital program, other than the desalination delivery pipeline, to be low. The desalination delivery pipeline is rated as medium risk as the construction passes through difficult soil risk conditions.  Property disposals  In accordance with a Ministerial Direction issued in February 2006, Sydney Water sold its Miranda property for $11.0 million. Under the Ministerial Direction and covenants placed on the sale, the successful purchaser is required to develop the site for three tier aged care accommodation and affordable housing.  As a result of complying with the Ministerial Direction, Sydney Water incurred significant costs and had to forego a higher sale price. Accordingly, NSW Treasury reimbursed Sydney Water $8.9 million.  Sydney Water disposed of a further ten properties in 2006-07 for $63.4 million (11 properties for $10.7 million). Over the next three years, Sydney Water plans to dispose of 32 properties worth approximately $179 million. This includes Sydney Waters current head office site which will become surplus once it moves to its new Parramatta office in 2009.  Carbon Neutrality Program and Renewable Energy  Sydney Water has decided to become carbon neutral by 2020. Sydney Water plans to achieve this milestone by predominantly using carbon credits it has already earned, future carbon credits it will earn through demand management programs and generation of green energy, and acquiring carbon credits from the external market. Other strategies to achieve a carbon neutral status include reducing energy use and generating renewable energy.  166 Auditor-Generals Report to Parliament 2007 Volume Four  __________________________________________